How to find a mentor
Updated: Jan 2
Mentoring is important, not only because of the knowledge and skills you can learn from mentors but also because mentoring provides professional socialization and personal support to facilitate success in your career.
Quality mentoring greatly enhances your chances of success beyond just hard work. As a woman, having a mentor to champion you in a male-dominated workplace further increases your credibility and chances of success.
Here's what a mentor can do for you:
Mentors provide information and knowledge.
Mentors can see where we need to improve where we often cannot.
Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth.
Mentors offer encouragement and help keep us going.
Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves.
Mentors are sounding boards so we can bounce ideas off them for an unfiltered opinion.
Mentors are trusted advisers. You should be able to trust your adviser not to steal your ideas or plans.
Mentors can be connectors. Playing a dual role of teacher and connector, a mentor can provide access to those within your industry that are willing to invest in your company, offer their skills and expertise, introduce you to the talent that can fuel your career and help you get closer to your goal.
Mentors have the experiences you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes beginners make.
Mentors are free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one.
You can have different mentors for different reasons. Who says you need to stick to one? Find one for each of your roles.
How do you find one?
Think outside the cubicle. Mentors are found everywhere, not just in the office. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for a suitable fit. Make a clear ask.
Be clear on the value you can bring to the partnership. Everyone brings something to a partnership. Have your clearly defined values ready to demonstrate that your values align with those of your would-be mentor.
Ask! Once you identified a potential mentor, ask him or her specifically to be your mentor.
I hope that this helps encourage you to find a mentor who can support and nurture you and help you to get you to where you want to be in your career.